To the Right Reverend Samuel, Lord Bishop of St. David's, as profoundly skilled in every branch of human learning, as he is well affected to every doctrine of the Christian Faith, the following Speculations are humbly offered and inscribed, by His Lordship's most devoted and obliged humble servant, The Author.
London, December 8, 1792.
THE following Papers owed their Birth to an accident. The Author being at Church on TRINITY SUNDAY, 1792, heard a very able Divine of the Church of England, who is a celebrated Preacher, refer his Audience to the Natural Creation, for an Idea of the Doctrine of the Day: and he was thence led into a Train of Meditation which brought forth the first Paper, and so on to the fourth generation, They were printed separately, in order as they occurred, with design only to be handed from one Reader to another for experiment; till repeated applications determined the Author to send them about with less trouble to himself and his Friends under a public Advertisement from a Bookseller's shop,
I. MAN consists of a soul and a body: and as his soul is supported by the power of God, so is his body supported by the powers of Nature,
II. God. having always taught man invisible things, the objects of faith, by some reference to things visible, the objects of sense; he has given us an understanding of his own Divine Nature, by shewing us how to take our ideas of it from those agents or powers which govern the visible world.
III. But the powers of Nature, by which all natural life and motion are preserved, are three, namely, Air, and Fire, and Light. Experience shews this to all the world. The most ignorant are sensible of it; and the most learned cannot contradict it. These powers are all present whenever a candle is lighted; without air it cannot subsist: it burns as fire, and it illuminates as light.
IV. These three powers, thus subsisting together in Unity, are applied in the Holy Scripture to the Three Persons of the Divine Nature. We are expressly taught, that God is a consuming fire: that Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, and the Sun of Righteousness: and the Holy Ghost is called the Spirit, after the name of the Air or Wind; for that is the meaning of the word Spirit.
Therefore God is Fire, God is Light, and God is Spirit.
V. The manifestations of God to man (which it is wonderful to consider) have always been under one or other of these signs. On mount Sinai he appeared as a consuming fire. To the Disciples at his transfiguration, and to Paul at his conversion, Jesus Christ appeared in a light which exceeded the brightness of the sun. In the Old Testament he is to be understood by the glory of the Lord: and in the New, he is the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, as light is the glory of fire, and conveys the image of it: that is, as the image of the sun is imprinted upon all Nature by its own light. The manifestation of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost, was under the form of a rushing mighty wind coming down from heaven: and when our Lord communicated the Holy Ghost to his Disciples, he did it under the outward sign of breathing upon them; to signify, that the Holy Ghost is the breath of the Divine Life; and that as we speak by our own spirit or breath, so if we speak by inspiration from God, the Spirit of God gives us utterance. The word inspiration always implies this.
This relation between the powers of Nature and the Persons of the Godhead, so plain in the Scripture, will give a new prospect of the Christian Doctrine; and will shew at the same time, that the boasted Unitarian opinion, of a single Person in the Godhead, has nothing in nature to support it; and being unnatural, is, according to the rule of the Socinians, incredible. For they have objected, that the belief of the Christian Trinity is absurd, because it is a doctrine of which we have no ideas, and consequently can have no understanding.
What they mean by having no ideas is not very clear: and I take the objection from an Author, who, by his writings, never had a clear idea of any thing. There is not one term used in stating the doctrine of the Trinity, which does not convey a known idea. Therefore when it is said that we have no ideas of a Trinity in Unity, it must be meant that we have no natural perception of the truth, perhaps not so much as a capacity of being made to perceive by virtue of any demonstration that can be offered to us, the truth of the proposition that the three Persons are one God. But if this be a sufficient reason for disbelieving any doctrine, it will then follow, that our understanding is the measure of all truth; which no man hath vet been bold enough to assert. We should therefore be justified in receiving any doctrine on the testimony of God, without being able to shew its truth from any knowledge of our own. But if men will insist, that they must see a similarity of truth in what is known, before they admit what is unknown; then we can meet them upon their own ground. Only let it be understood, that by an idea of a doctrine we mean an image of its truth; and then, of such ideas we have plenty; some of them selected and applied by the word of God from the creation of God: and if due justice were done to their testimony, the whole world would be Trinitarian, and join with Christians upon earth, as Christians shall join with Angels in heaven, in giving glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, Three Persons and One God.
The Trinitarian Analogy is no new Discovery. The wise and learned have long been in possession of it. It only wanted to be brought out to view, and properly insisted upon: and this is the proper time, when infidelity insults us for believing without ideas.
Abbé Le Pluche observed, many years since, "There are but Three known fluids in Nature, which by their continual activity are the principles of all motion; and these are Light, Fire, and Air." Le Pluché called them three fluids, but latter experiments in philosophy strongly persuade that they are but one in substance. The application of these to the Divine Trinity was known to the primitive Christian Church: "Are not these Three Persons (says Epiphanius) properly understood by every one, as light, fire, and spirit, reveal them to us?" There is no occasion to believe that this Analogy originated with Epiphanius, or any other single person, when it is so clearly found in the Scriptures.
THAT the three principles of motion, which govern the natural world, are Fire, Light, and Air, is so self evident in general, that we need say little to prove what the senses will confirm to all mankind.
But perhaps it may not be so evident, that these three agents support the life of man, whom the wise have long considered as a lesser world; yet every person, who applies his mind to consider the case, will soon see it to be true.
In the body of man, there is a threefold life to be supported: first, in the heart and blood vessels: secondly, in the organs of respiration: and lastly, in the nerves, the instruments of sensation. Each of these, taken separately, forms a sort of tree, and has the appearance of it, when represented in the tables of anatomists. There is one large tree (if not rather two) of the arteries and veins: another of the nerves, equally extended with the former: and a third formed by the trachea, or wind-pipe, with its branches in the lobes of the lungs.
On these three capacities or departments of the animal conomy, the three moving principles of Nature are constantly acting for the support of life. The heat of fire preserves the fluidity of the blood in the veins and arteries, and is necessary to the circulation of it. The nerves, the channels of sensation, are acted upon by the light; and for this purpose are found to be pellucid lengthwise; which is most manifest in the optic nerve. The organs of respiration are acted upon by the air, which gives us breath, and without which, the system of life cannot long subsist
Thus it appears, that life is preserved in the three several departments of the animal conomy by the three elementary principles which govern the world. The heart is the proper residence of fire; not of burning but of vivifying fire. The head is the seat of light, which acts most sensibly in the organs of sight; but is diffused from the brain to all parts of the body. In the lungs is the proper residence of air; the inspiration and respiration of which, assist in the circulation of the blood: and if the heart be considered as a cistern or reservoir, the lungs may be considered as a pump, continually working upon it.
The three powers of Nature are no where more conspicuous and wonderful than in their operations within the body of man: and what is still farther to our purpose, they act together in unity; all conspiring to the same end, and keeping up one and the same life.
Neither of these can produce their effect without the other two. What can air do in the lungs, when the blood is no longer fluid with heat? And what will these two avail, unless there be sensation in the nerves; that is, unless light gives information to the body, as information gives light to the mind.
As truth grows out of truth, much might 'be said on the three powers of man in the three seats of life: of his affections in the heart; his understanding in the head; and Ins speech in the lungs; which three faculties constitute the man, considered as an intellectual being: and these three act in unity in all that is rightly done by him. When his understanding speaks without his affections, his head without his heart, he is a deceiver; a false friend, and a dangerous enemy. When the affection speaks without the understanding, the heart without the head, man becomes an enthusiast or a fool. But when the speech and the understanding, and the affections all go together, as they should do, then is man that being which God intended him to be; and to assist him herein, the Divine Spirit gives him the grace of speech; while the divine word is a light to his understanding, and a fire to his affections.
The use of all is this: that as the life of man is a trinity in unity, and the powers that act upon it are a trinity in unity, the same which governs the world at large; the Socinians, being in their natural capacity, formed and animated as Christians are, carry about with them, daily, a confutation of their own unbelief; and if they knew themselves, they would know God better.
If the Unitarian should be an electrician, we may refer him to that science for another display of our three principles: it being commonly known, that these are universally the agents in all effects of electricity. By an electric spark, a taper will be lighted, by the blast from an electrified point, it will be blown out. What we take up in a drinking glass from the ocean, is not more truly the matter of water, than what we take from a thundercloud in the heavens, is the matter of fire; and we prove the same fluid to be light, because, when viewed through a glass prism, it is refracted into the colours of the solar spectrum. Therefore the same principles act in electricity as in the body of man; and the same in the body of man, as in the body of the world; and every where they are a Trinity in Unity.
Christian reader, go not to men or to books, to know whether these things are so; but consult thine own senses, and judge for thyself what is right.
THE TRINITARIAN ANALOGY, if farther pursued, will shew its the original, and give us the interpretation, of the most ancient #nd universal idolatry of the heathen world.
With us, this Analogy consists of two parts, the natural and the divine: the powers of the visible world being the natural part, the invisible persons of the Divine Nature the counterpart; and the Scripture has given us a right understanding of both. But when the world, by following their own wisdom, departed from the true God, they left the substance, and kept the shadow; they worshipped the creature instead of the Creator: but still they were right thus far, in that they retained, as the objects of their worship, those very elements of the natural creation, which had been appropriated to give them ideas of the Creator. In this capacity, as substitutes, they were the truth of God; but, when deified in themselves, and taken as principals, they were changed into a lie. Fire, Light and Air, the scriptural emblems, were universally adored throughout the heathen world. Moloch in Syria, Apis in Egypt, Vulcan in Greece and Italy, were names given to the element of Fire. Light was worshipped under the names of Apollo, Mithras, &c. and the famous Heliopolis in Egypt was a city with a temple consecrated to the sun. No Latin scholar need be told that Jupiter was the Air; the poets even using the proper name of Jupiter as an appellative term to signify the air, and all the epithets given to him are applicable to the same element.
Hence we have the true intention of all that part of their idolatry which includes the worship of animals: they having universally taken for this purpose such animals, whose forms and qualities were emblematic of the elementary powers. They used the eagle and his kinds to denote the power of the air, and therefore made him an attendant upon Jupiter. In like manner they took the figure of an ox or bull to represent the power of fire: the idol Apis of Egypt was a hull; and the golden calf of the Hebrews was too nearly related to it. Moloch the God of fire in Syria was figured with a bull's head. The power of the solar light was signified by a lion; of which there is abundant evidence from the antiquities of Egypt and Persia: and hence it happened that these animals were preferred to a place in the zodiac; of which the antiquity is too remote to be traced. These three animals, the lion, the bull, and the eagle, having been used by the heathens as symbols of the three great rulers in the natural world, there must have been some good reason why they applied any animals to this purpose, and why these in particular. It seems, then, that these three animals, when we consider them, appear to be three supreme rulers in the animal world; the lion of all wild beasts, the bull of all cattle, the eagle of all birds. The red colour of the bull is like that of fire; and the hairs of his front have the appearance of a flame. The lion has a round visage beset with bristles like the orb of the sun encircled with rays; and his colour is yellow or tawny, as that of the solar light: whence gold is compared to the sun, as silver to the whiter light of the moon. The eagle, by the power of its wings, which are applied to the wind, is master of the element of air; and its colour is dusky, like the clouds and vapours which fly about in that element.
How it should happen, that the heathen; world should agree in taking these animals, and with such physiological propriety, to represent the ruling powers of Nature, unless they had some great example from which they borrowed, cannot well be imagined. Their priesthood, their sacrifices, their purifications, their rites of every kind, may be traced to their origin in divine revelation. And the same is true of their sacred animals; which are all found together in that grand hieroglyphic of the Bible called the Cherubim, first set up at Eden, and afterwards placed in the Temple, and particularly described by the Prophet Ezekiel (chap. i, and x.) as composed of a lion, an eagle, and a bull, with the face of a man united to one of them. The intention of this mystical figure may be partly collected from its situation in the holy of holies; which being a figure of the heavenly places, this must have been a figure of the heavenly powers: and the Prophet himself declares, that what he had seen in vision was an appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. Here it is remarkable, that this mystical appearance is attended by the three natural powers. The exhibition begins with a whirlwind, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness round about it which is afterwards described as a rainbow of light. There are two traits in these figures, which are highly significant of the divine attributes; one is, that in their progress they never turn, but go right forwards; another is, that they are full of eyes all over: the one teaching us, that the ways of God are direct, and his purposes irresistible; the other, that all things in heaven and earth are open to his sight.
In this figure of the cherubic animals, we have the original of all those compound and many-headed klols, with which Egypt and Greece and Rome abounded: and there is one singular example, in the mythological character of Cerberus. The word is of no Greek extraction, but evidently the same in its consonants with CheRuB: and as the true Cherubim were first placed at Paradise to keep the way of the tree of life, this Cerberus, with his three heads, was placed as a guard at the entrance of Elysium, the heathen Paradise, The depravations of this sacred emblem by the heathens were numerous and shocking; they added to it serpents, and dogs, and other abominable things; and in these corruptions they were followed by the Hebrews till the captivity: of which wickedness and its punishment they are reminded by the Prophet in words which give great information: as for the beauty of his ornament he set it in majesty; but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things therein: therefore have I set it far from them. Ezek. c. vii. v. 20. The design of the Prophet's vision of the Temple and its furniture, was to instruct and comfort them under their absence from it while they were captives.
This subject, the most fruitful in the whole compass of literature, deserves the consideration of every scholar; but it should be examined with reverence and caution, as we have here endeavoured. It opens a new and striking alliance between the theology of the Scripture, the constitution of Nature, and the mythological mysteries of Heathenism. It connects and reconciles all learning and all religion; and renders the study of antient authors more profitable and entertaining to those who delight in reading them.
The Jews of the latter days either did not understand, or have taken pains to conceal, the true intention of the Cherubim. All Antitrinitarians will take them for their masters. Bolingbroke, Voltaire, and other infidels, have never noticed this grand hieroglyphic of the Bible, but to make scorn and sport of it: which, though bad indeed for themselves, is a good symptom for us. What is useless and contemptible in their view, will be found valuable to us who look deeper, and take the Scripture itself as the best interpreter of its own mysteries.
The doctrine of a Trinity in Unity is a truth which is at the head of all other truth. If it is found in the constitution of the divine Nature, it may be expected to diffuse itself to the constitution of all other things; according to an ancient and venerable persuasion, that the creation is a glass in which the Creator may be seen, and that the whole visible world is a transcript of the divine mind. And where can we turn our eyes without meeting it in some shape or other? especially in the nature of man, who is an epitome of the world? In him we find a threefold system of life, sustained by the three powers of nature. In his whole being, he consists of a body, an animated soul, and an intellectual or rational spirit. (See 1 Thess.v, 523.) In his mind there are three faculties; the understanding, the will, and the memory; all separate in their functions: and yet the mind in which they are found is but one.
The Scripture itself has given us ideas of the Holy Trinity by an allusion to the mind and speech and spirit or breath of man. The person who was made flesh, is called the word of God; and the divine Spirit is called the breath of the Almighty; the Son being understood to come forth from the Father, as the word is generated of the mind. The fathers of the Church entertained this view of the subject; which though countenanced by the phraseology of Holy Writ, was sometimes too curiously enlarged upon. See Bishop Horsley's Tracts, p. 471.
The Scripture has another allusion to the same effect, from which the great defender of the homoöusian doctrine argued powerfully against the Arians. A few texts would suffice to shew, that the phrases Arm of the Lord, Hand of the Lord, Finger of the Lord, are used to denote the second and third persons of the blessed Trinity: whence it appears, that when God acts by his word and his Spirit, as in the whole oonomy of redemption, he acts by himself; as the act of the hands, arms, or fingers, is the act of the man himself. And as the arm is of the same substance with him whose arm it is, and partakes of the same life, so must the Son and Spirit be of the same substance with the Father.--Braciona kalei ton monogenh wV th OUSIA sunemenon.
In Geometry (which forms a sort of world by itself) the triangle, which is as it were the soul and essence of the science, is a trinity in unity: and if equiangular, and inscribed in a circle, it becomes a most apposite emblem of coequality and coeternity, and as finch frequently finds a place in our altar-pieces, with the name Jehovah inscribed within it, and a glory round about it. The Pythagoreans expressed numerical essence by their tetractys, a figure comprehending the elements of number, disposed into the form of an equilateral triangle; and as they had a custom of swearing by it, they meant it as a symbol of the divinity. In Optics, we have three primary colours, in the unity of the light. When combined, they are too bright and powerful for the sight; when distinguished, they form 'the most glorious and beautiful spectacle the eyes can behold. In pneumatics, the theory of sounds exhibits three distinct notes in one perfect harmony. When a single note is struck upon a full organ, the unlearned hearer thinks it is only one; but every master, and every maker, knows it to be three in one. Many other like speculations would meet us, if it were requisite to look for them. Every particle of matter in the creation, every atom, conveys the same idea. It has three dimensions only, length, breadth, and depth: and if the particle be spherical, these three are equal, while the sphere itself is an unit. But enough has been produced to verify that sentiment in the old Chaldaic oracles, which is very extraordinary in itself, whether those fragments be genuine or not.
En panti kosmw lampei TriaV eV MonaV arcei.
That these observations do in themselves afford any strict and legitimate evidence of a trinity in unity, we do not say. They can yield no positive proof; because no proposition of any one science can have its demonstration in another science. An ingenious combination of triangles, which pleases many people, was published by some well-meaning person, and called a Mathematical Demonstration of a Trinity in Unity: but very improperly. Analogy captivates the fancy; and, by furnishing it with ideas, assists the understanding: it is also of use to reconcile our reason, because it answers the objection which might arise from singularity. When it occurs in great abundance, and with such uniformity as in the present subject, it rises into presumptive evidence; but in divinity it cannot amount to absolute proof, till it becomes scriptural: and as the proof of every divine doctrine is properly from the Scripture itself, the analogies which are there found become argumentative, and may be pleaded in defence of the truth which they illustrate: as in baptism, water, being used by divine appointment, becomes a proof, from the known property of water in purifying, that baptism washes away sin. We take a trinity in unity from the Scripture on the testimony of God, and with that testimony we may be satisfied: but that this may not seem arbitrary, God, being graciously pleased to condescend to our wants, adds to it the testimony of Nature itself, and so far turns Christianity into natural religion. We should never have discovered any analogy in the three powers of nature; but when it is revealed, our reason feels the force of it; and we make our use of it, to illustrate the co-equality, coeternity, and supremacy of the divine Trinity. For as the natural powers are supreme in nature, and govern all things in the visible world, and none is found superior to another, but all equally irresistible; so are each of the divine Persons supreme in the intellectual world. And as it is said of them, that none is before the other; so is it impossible to say, which of the elementary powers acts first in the order of nature. It has been argued, that the son, as a son, must be posterior to the father from the common order of generation: but the argument does not hold: for, God of God, being as Light of Light, it is impossible to conceive the sun to exist in the heavens without emitting light: so that if the sun were eternal, light would be co-eternal with it.
It is the design of these papers to bring out to view a sort of learning, which, if well studied and rightly used, will turn Christians into scholars, and scholars into Christians. Socinians, whose vanity gives them an exclusive right to all wisdom and knowledge, will be found as unlearned and ignorant as they are impious, and find no encouragement in the schools of philosophy.
They have taken great pains to displace a text which asserts the doctrine of three in one: but as all nature speaks the same language, their labour will never be successful, till they can prove the world itself to be an interpolation.
THE nature and design of the TRINITARIAN ANALOGY, as it hath been stated in the four preceding Numbers, is such, that it may be supposed to have come from some person, who covets no praise, and fears no censure. You have allowed him the merit of a little good sense; to which, however, in my opinion, he has but a doubtful title. For if this great argument, so plainly founded on divine revelation, and supported by evidence, old and new, from every quarter, is so slightly noticed, and thrown aside as a trifle, by persons, in whom the world expects to find superior learning, and from whom writers on the Christian side have hoped for that candour and justice which they have hitherto not met with from others; it must surely have been an act of indiscretion to trust it with the public, such as good sense would not easily have fallen into. Give me leave, therefore, to explain how this happened.
The incident, which gave occasion to the composing of these papers, is truly related in the preface. The publication of them was not at first intended. But a late learned and excellent person, who was not only a strenuous defender of the Christian cause, but a great ornament to the Christian society, was heard to say, that if such a man as Dr. Priestley was ever to be converted to the belief of Christianity, nothing would be so likely, in his opinion, to produce that effect, as a sight of that alliance between natural and divine truth, which revelation hath pointed out to us; meaning that very alliance, or analogy, in particular, which hath here been traced with so much care and attention. Of this, when it first occurred to him, he wrote the following memorable words: "I have found information enough to give me an idea of the spiritual agency of the Divine Persons in the redemption of mankind: an idea, which I could never have expected, or thought it possible for man in the body to have; and which hath fixed me fast to the rock of my salvation, by an anchor of the soul both sure and stedfast, never more to be tossed about upon the waves of scepticism or infidelity."
The Author therefore could not think it quite improbable, that with persons of fewer prejudices, and better inclinations, the sight of such a thing might possibly be productive of some good effect: with which hope he ventured to send it abroad. For if it be once admitted, that Nature affords a visible testimony to the mysteries of Christianity, as is here demonstrated, the dispute with philosophers is at an end; and for the most distant prospect of so desirable an event, I would at any time hazard my reputation.
In the first paper, I have contended, according to the established opinion, which is undoubtedly right, that the doctrine of the Trinity ought to be believed upon the testimony of God: but if men call out for a similitude of truth in what is known, before, they will receive what is unknown, to human reason, we are then ready to meet them upon their own ground. I do therefore wish, that you had shewed your Readers, in as few words as possible, what the argument is, what is the design of it, and to what sort of persons it is more particularly addressed, as an Argumentum ad homines; which, if it should not succeed so often as might be wished and expected, no harm is done. All the common arguments remain, and may serve to keep plain Christians in the way of truth, as they have done hitherto: and as to those philosophers, who are unhappily disaffected to it, we must leave them to go on in their own way; producing a new crop of hard words every year; till they shall be brought to a better understanding of things: and then they will do as much good, as they are now disposed to do mischief. For, suppose twenty persons to be persuaded, in the ordinary way of reasoning, that Christianity is not false; one single man, who is brought over to love and admire the wisdom of it, will probably be worth them all: and I look upon this as the certain effect of my argument, where it has any effect at all.
Soon after the papers which contain it were printed off, it was reported, that a copy of them had been handed, without the Author's consent or knowledge, to Dr. Priestley; with what success he never heard. But what that learned Gentleman published soon afterwards, in his Address to his Friends, the French philosophers, who are extirpating Christianity as fast as they can, leaves us utterly without hope that any good effect is to be expected from that or any other application of the kind. Many years ago, that excellent Controversialist, Mr. Charles Leslie, published his Short Method with the Deists; originally composed for the private benefit of the Duke of Leeds; the design of which was to give a demonstration of the facts of Christianity. For, argued 'he, no man can possibly deny the doctrines, if he admits the facts, by which those doctrines were first proved to the world. But in Dr. Priestley, we see a melancholy example of what Mr. Leslie thought impossible, he having actually borrowed (or stolen) that Author's singular Demonstration of the Facts of Christianity, without any mention of his name, (of which you should have given your readers some notice) while he denies the doctrines which those facts were intended to prove. Mahomet did the same, as the learned Mr Bryant hath of late very well observed. This impostor allowed so many of the facts, that he ought to have taken the doctrines with them: but, like our philosophical doctor, he denied them all, and published a new set of his own manufacture. Mahomet's view was to raise a party against the Christian world; and the doctor makes no secret of it, that he is actuated by a like spirit of proselyting. While such a person is so busy in working upon others, nothing can be done upon himself; and I am one of those who always considered his case as a hopeless one. I have watched the ways of mankind very attentively; and I find, they reject many things, not because they doubt of them, or conceive them to be false, but because they do not like them. Judas always knew that his Master was the true Messiah; he only discovered, that he was not such a Messiah as would do for him. The philosophical Leaders in France are not so bereaved of their wits as to disbelieve the Being of a God: they have only discovered, .that anarchy, murder, and sacrilege, will not consist with the worship of him, so they cast off him, till he shall cast off them; which will happen in its time, as it did to the Jews.
I think it highly proper, that in a popular undertaking, as yours is, all appearance of singularity in judgment should be avoided, and the temper of the age submitted to, so far as it may be done, without any mean arts of adulation on the one hand, or suppression on the other; for which your enemies would hold you cheap, and your best friends would be afraid of you. Every sincere reformer, of the times in which he lives, must consider himself as a physician to squeamish patients, who will touch no medicine unless it is palatable or fashionable: he must do good to the world against its will; and persevere, as well as he can, under the honest encouragement of the sanguine, the cold approbation of the prudent, the contempt of adversaries, and the silence of many who think rightly, but are afraid to speak. That you may always be mindful of those reasonable expectations, with which the friends of this church and government, at a very critical time, have given you such ample encouragement, is the hearty wish of your constant reader, and humble servant,
The Author of the Short Way to Truth. Nov. 20, 1793.